By Tim Ripley
In June 1944, the Panzer divisions of the Waffen-SS have been probably the greatest devices in Hitlers military. With modern pictures and color maps, this ebook tells the tale of the battles they fought from Caen and Villers Bocage to Arnhem and the Ardennes.
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Additional resources for Waffen-SS Panzers The Western Front
The Atlantic Wall For the famous “Desert Fox”, time was of the essence. When he toured France on an inspection of the Atlantic Wall coastal defences during December 1943, Rommel was far from impressed. France had long been a backwater of the war. It was where German units would be sent to recuperate after suffering a mauling in Russia. After being appointed commander of the invasion coast, which stretched from the French border to northern Holland, Rommel had been trying to knock the last vestiges of complacency out of his rag-tag collection of just under 60 divisions.
The school and university systems were fertile recruiting ground for the Nazi Party, and the indoctrination of those youngsters was a major objective for Hitler’s henchmen. The outbreak of war accelerated this process of indoctrination. Once the Allied bombers started raiding major German cities in massive numbers from late 1942 onwards, the German people could see for themselves what little pity they would evoke from such a ruthless enemy. In the aftermath and carnage of the mass bombings, it was easy for Hitler’s propaganda genius, Josef Goebbels, to declare total war and for German civilians to be swept along by his enthusiasm for the conflict.
The corps-level firepower was provided by Nebelwerfer multiple rocket launchers. Tactics Their experience of three brutal campaign seasons in Russia had transformed the Waffen-SS panzer divisions into some of the most professional armoured formations the world has ever seen. Under experienced commanders – such as Hausser, Dietrich, Bittrich, Kurt “Panzer” Meyer and Jochen Peiper – the Waffen-SS panzer divisions were trained up and inspired to become masters of their art. Central to German armoured doctrine was the idea of the all-arms battle group (or Kampfgruppe).
Waffen-SS Panzers The Western Front by Tim Ripley